Che Cafe Hits Capacity During Fundraising Concert

Featured bands included Crystal Antlers, HEALTH and Griever. Each day of the festival was structured around a different genre (hardcore, indie, experimental) based on the music the cafe has supported.

Scott Sanders of music booking company Spirit Animal Productions said that coordinating band schedules was the main challenge for the festival planners. He initially contacted 50 bands, but many of them were busy on tour or recording their music.

“A lot of bands wanted to commit, but it just didn’t work with their schedule,” Sanders said in an email.

For example, hardcore band Retox was scheduled to headline Friday’s festival, but ended up dropping the show.

“There are always bound to be bumps in the road in setting up such a massive project, but everyone involved has been really supportive and knows that all of the work is worth it to save the Che,” festival organizer and co-founder of the Che Café benefit blog Jesse Kranzler said in an email.

According to Kranzler, all of the participating bands agreed to play for free, though the Café reimbursed travel and food costs.

“We just reached out to a bunch of friends and bands we knew had a history with the Che or cared about the local DIY scenes,” Kranzler said

Prior to the festival, the Che Cafe raised $9,000 via donations from the Che Cafe benefit blog.  Kranzler said they expected to make another $7,000 during the festival. They will $12,000 by March for insurance fees to avoid being shut down.

“It’s important that people remember that [the cafe is] an active and welcoming place to go, perform their own music, set up their own shows and see bands they’ve been wanting to see for years,” Sanders said. “The Che is such a significant place and it has the ability to change people and give them a home to be comfortable in.”

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